Workshop on the Pathologies of Public Discourse

The main theme of the workshop is what one might call the pathologies of public discourse - the ways that public deliberation and the exchange of reason and argument may go wrong, and how this may affect the generation of opinions in the public sphere and the legitimacy of democratic decisions. All major theories of political legitimacy accord public deliberation one role or the other in determining political legitimacy. Theories that focus on the epistemic aspects of democracy may seem particularly sensitive to these phenomena, but even theories of democracy that do not base the prime justification on epistemic sides of democracy would need to worry about such issues. The workshop will address these and similar issues from a variety of perspectives, including social epistemology, political philosophy and other disciplines.

No registration is needed. Everyone is welcome to attend. 

How to get there: nearest metro station is 'Islands Brygge'. From there it is a short walk. Campus map: see

For inquiries, contact Tine Hindkjaer Madsen (

Monday, December 19

9.15 - 9.30 Coffee and Tea

9.30 - 10.30 Michael Lynch: Can We be Reasonable?

10.40 - 11.40 Robert Talisse and Scott Aikin: Dialectical Fallacies and Onlooking Audiences

11.50 – 12.50 Ian James Kidd: Epistemic Corruption and Pathologies of Public Discourse

12.50 - 14.00 Lunch

14.00 - 15.00 Casey Johnson: Perceptions of Expertise and the Division of Epistemic Labor

15.10 - 16.10 Simon Rippon: Government Manipulation of Public Discourse: The Case of Hungary and the Refugees

16.20-17.20 Klemens Kappel: Epistemic Rationality and Political Reasonability in Deep Disagreements

19.00 Dinner at Il Buco, Njalsgade 19c

Tuesday, December 20

9.15 - 9.30 Coffee and Tea

9.30 - 10.30: Tomasz Jarymowicz: Epistemic oppression and activism

10.40 - 11.40 José Medina: Visual Argumentation and Epistemic Dysfunctions: Racial Violence in Contemporary Visual Culture

11.50 - 12.50 Andreas Christensen and Bjørn Hallsson: Democracy and public risk attitudes

12.50 - 14.00 Lunch

14.00 - 15.00 Matthew Dentith (via skype): Too Big to Succeed? On conspiracy theories in political discourse

15.10 - 16.10 Hanna Gunn: Communicative Agency and Communicative Injustice